Construction Mafia in South Africa

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Dubbed the ‘construction mafia’ in the media, these people have organized themselves into groups known as ‘local business forums’ and invaded construction sites across the country, demanding money or a stake in development projects in what can arguably be described as systemic extortion. These activities have been fuelled by the weak response from the state, allowing them to expand their activities. In 2019, at least 183 infrastructure and construction projects worth more than R63 billion had been affected by these disruptions across the country. Since then, invasions have continued at construction sites across South Africa. 

Disrupting the construction extortion economy, particularly in areas where it has taken root, will not be an easy task. However, not addressing it will affect the construction sector and the country, and failure to deal with this type of extortion is also likely to spread such practices to other sectors of the economy.

This report provides government, businesses, and communities with recommendations on building a comprehensive strategy for dealing with systemic extortion and strengthening partnerships between private sector organizations, local communities, civil society organizations, local government, and state actors.

Link to the full report HERE 

Author: Bryan Groenendaal



  1. Political will deficiency from the Authorities has brought SA where it is, in terms dealing with Anarchy. It shouldn’t be a difficult task in principle for the State to uproot such destructive culture provided leadership is Decisive and Proactive.

  2. If the leaders of the day provide the example, their followers will do the same. The current ANC must be replaced with a competent government who respect the rule of law which must be righteousness and not protecting the rights of criminals. Unfortunately most of the mafias are within the current government and especially within the SOE’s and SOC’s like SANRAL. This includes connected persons within certain Consulting Engineering companies as well as Contractors.

  3. George Makosa on

    Unfortunately this anti revolutionary tact was allowed to take root when the current worse corrupt politician of the day was allowed under pretext of unifying the warring parties of Kzn to lead economic development but he simply became the new paymaster of those hired killers used by apartheid to fuel black on black violence in the 1980s.
    When he no longer possed the keys to the cookie jar they became loose canons who felt entitled to all government procurement hence the disrespect of anyone else government engages in business.

    Political intervention??
    Forget it as the rogue politicians will simply deploy the equally rogue police partners.

  4. Danny Square on

    Much more can be said but the comments shared hit the nail on the head.. After many years I spent 2 weeks on the road away from Cape Town… Joburg, Potchchefstroom, Mapumalanga.. and a few smaller dorpies.. sad to see the state of this beautiful country it’s completely broken

  5. Quite frankly, the current government is way too far from saving this beautiful country South Africa.

    They all seem to the same tunnel with no light for the Citizens of South Africa.

    They planned long ago to bring the state where it is today.

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